5 easy rhyming games to lift your child’s literacy

Did you know that, old-fashioned nursery rhymes offer children a fantastic opportunity to develop their language?

Research has shown that children who know how to rhyme have developed an understanding of sounds and words…and this is a helpful step in their early literacy.

So, don’t stop playing rhyming games just because your child is no longer a toddler!

Rhyme play is a great way to introduce your preschool and school aged children to the sounds of words. Rhyming will help them learn to read and spell in later years and will enhance their phonological awareness.

Why not try these easy games at home to encourage your child to have fun with rhymes?

I Spy

Play the game the traditional way, but your child must think of a word that rhymes with the clue. For example, ‘I spy with my little eyes something that rhymes with bar’ (car).


Prepare a set of picture cards and attach a paper clip to each one. Make a fishing rod with a stick, string and magnet. Take turns to catch a ‘fish’ from the pond. If your child can suggest a word to rhyme with it, they can keep their catch!


Place a picture card beneath each skittle. Take it in turns to roll the ball. If your child knocks a skittle over, they need to think of a word that rhymes with the word attached to it to score a point.

Paper Scissors Rock

Play the game the traditional way. The player who loses gives the winner a word. He scores a point if he can give a word to rhyme with it.

Hide and Seek

Hide a small set of picture cards around the room and turn off the light. Give your child a torch and challenge him to find the pictures hidden in the room. When he finds a picture, he must think of a word that rhymes with it to score a point. If your child is an animal lover, consider attaching the words to his favourite stuffed animals. He will love finding them on his exploration!

Kids First Speech Pathology team
© 2014 Kids First Children’s Services

Does your child have trouble with rhyming?

If your child is aged 4+ and has trouble with rhyming, this may be an indication that your child’s phonological awareness skills are under-developed. Kids need these ‘sounding’ skills to learn to read and spell and school and so if your child meeds, help, it’s best to get it early.

Kids First’s paediatric Speech Pathologists, based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, have many years experience supporting children and can help your child too. Contact us on (02) 9938 5419 or connect with us on-line using the inquiry form below to make an appointment to see a member of our team.

We’re here to support you and your child - no matter what.

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